Tuesday, December 18, 2012

'Tis the Season - Cranberry Spice Cake

It's funny how food-moody I get. I was flipping through all the recipes that I have torn out of magazines, and I kept and looking at the summer-y recipes, like tomato salads and berry pies, etc, which just don't sound good to me. I am craving hearty, spicy, holiday-y tastes. I have been consuming a scary amount of mulled drinks and rich food and this past weekend was no different. I was going to a small holiday fete at a friends and decided to bring along a little something more than just my usual bottle of wine. I found a recipe that I tore out a year ago for a Cranberry Spice Cake which sounded like it had all the perfect components for a holiday treat (cranberries, citrus, spices and sugar).

I will preface this post by saying that there is no photo of the actual "finished" cake because by the time the glaze set it was dark out, I was late and I am happy to report that it was gobbled up before I had a chance to photograph it. Instead you get a photo of a pseudo-complete cake.
 To make the cake:

Combine 1 1/2 cups AP flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, generous pinch of salt, heavy dash of nutmeg, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in a bowl. Next, pulse cranberries until they are roughly chopped, set aside.
Stir 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, 2/3 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup canola oil together. Add in 2 eggs, one at a time, mixing completely. Then whisk in 1/2 cup sour cream, the zest of one or two oranges, the zest of one lemon and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Now, in 3 additions alternate stirring in your dry ingredients and 1/3 cup apple cider. To finish, fold in the cranberries and pour into a parchment lined cake pan (I used an 8-inch round). Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.

Remove the cake from the oven and while it is cooling mix 1 cup powdered sugar, the zest of one lemon, the juice of 1/2 a lemon (maybe a little more) and a pinch of salt. Once the cake is cooled drizzle the glaze over the top. Let the glaze set and dig in. This cake was terrifically moist and tasty and not too sweet, thanks to the citrus (which I like). Bon Appétit served theirs with a citrus cranberry compote that sounds delicious but I didn't make. I wanted to save my  cranberries to try make a shrub! I will have to save that for a later post.

Here is an article from Ms. Irene Virbila about shrubs, just to pique your interest.

For the original recipe, without my tweaks - click here.